Sandy Dacombe

Winner of the Opals Award 2014

Sue Twomey


My name is Sandy Dacombe and I am 71 years of age.

The Start
It was suggested to me by my personal trainer that I think about doing the 20 Week Challenge. We decided to choose categories that I most wanted to see improve and enjoy doing. The chosen categories are: Balance and Entrants Choice.

The Journey
I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease approximately 19 years ago; fortunately in some ways, I have what my specialist calls a slow version. I have trembling in my right hand and sometimes uncontrolled movement in my leg. I am in the care of Professor Tim Anderson of the Brain Institute, they are studying neurological problems; under which heading Parkinson’s is. I also am involved with the Brain Institute doing research by volunteering for tests to help with different effects of Parkinson’s. One of the symptoms is my ability to control my balance.

The stroke: I had a stroke in May 2007 which left me with weakness on my right side and affected my speech slightly. One of the reasons for my going to the gym was to help with this weakness.

I have also a compression fracture in my spine and have been advised that I also have osteoporosis.

The Result
At the end of the 20 Week Challenge I believe I have achieved what I set out to do.

1) I can balance on one leg unaided whereas before I needed support with a pole.

2) I can now balance unaided on the Bosu ball Black side up. This is a big achievement as I had never been on a Bosu before doing the 20 week challenge.

All in all I consider that my personal trainer has made me a lot more confident in my daily life.

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Sandy before

sandy and broni comparisonSandy after no. 2